Fairfax Media on the hunt for elusive sales ‘unicorn’ who can create as well as sell content

Armstrong speaking at today's Future Forum event

Armstrong speaking at today’s Future Forum event

Fairfax Media’s sales boss Tom Armstrong has said the company is on the hunt for a “unicorn”, a sales person who is able to produce content and sell it to a client.

Commercial director Tom Armstrong told delegates at this afternoon’s newspaper industry Future Forum advertising & marketing masterclass that the media business is being disrupted and that this was driving new waves of innovation.

“One of the things we are seeing is marketers moving into the owned and earned media space, they want to create content and they want to own content,” said Armstrong.

“At Fairfax we create content every day.”

On how this will shape media sales teams in the future, Armstrong explained Fairfax has an internal content agency which aims to have staff who are half producer-creative type people and half-salespeople.

“We are looking for people who can stand in front of a client, ideate, come up with creative concepts, produce stuff and also ask for money,” he said.

“They are hard skills to find,” he added, describing them as an elusive “unicorn”.

Armstrong’s comments come only three months after Fairfax Media withdrew a job ad for a “sales representative & journalist” in its local paper division claiming it had posted the position, as a “combined role”, mistakenly.

The sales boss also said Fairfax is trying to develop these skills in-house but it is difficult to find people who can produce content and then sell to clients as well.

“There are a lot of people in the business who have the creative production skills but when you ask someone who works in editorial or production services to stand in front of a client they don’t have a thick enough skin to take the criticism and they don’t like asking for the money,” he said.

Miranda Ward 


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